Cable theft has become endemic in certain areas, leaving companies unable to transact business and suffering losses. The high rate of copper theft is driven by soaring copper prices - the metal has quadrupled in value since 2009 - and looks set to continue into the future.
One estimate puts the direct and indirect cost to the South African economy at R10 billion per year. Telkom, Eskom, Transnet, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and Metrorail alone suffered R3.2 billion in direct losses due to copper theft between 2006 and 2011. The indirect costs relating to lost productivity and business opportunity is much higher, and affects the whole economy.
"In today's connected business environment, losing connectivity is equivalent to crippling the business down - the business stands to lose a progressively greater proportion of each day's turnover the longer the outage continues," comments Kallie Carlsen, technical director at Maxwell Technology. "Then there's also the long-term damage to the company's brand in the eyes of customers and business partners."
System is always connected
To help provide companies with a backup connectivity option, Maxwell Technology has launched a cost-effective back-up connectivity solution that uses satellite technology. In this way, a company affected by copper theft or any other loss of normal connectivity can remain connected.
"This is a revolutionary concept because it simply requires the purchase of a satellite dish and modem, along with a data bundle," explains Carlsen. "Thereafter the system is always on, and can kick in the moment normal connectivity is lost. There are no monthly charges, and the data bundle never expires; this is a genuine fail-safe option and the pricing has been structured accordingly."
The solution is offered in conjunction with Sat-Space Africa, a leading provider of reliable and innovative solutions to Africa's connectivity challenges. Connectivity is provided via the AMOS 5 satellite, giving fast, reliable connectivity that can bridge the connectivity gap, no matter how it is caused.